David Hula didn’t break his record, but he did break 600.
In 2019, the Charles City, Va., no-tiller set the all-time yield on record for corn in the 55-year history of the National Corn Yield Contest. He carried the field again this year, but missed his record by about 14 bu. per acre.
The results of the 57th year of competition were announced on Wednesday. Hula raised a whopping 602.1684 bu. per acre, just shy of his all-time record of 616.1953 bu. per acre set in 2019.
That was the highest number recorded in this year’s edition of the contest in any of the nine categories the contest maintains.
Hula grew the Pioneer hybrid brand in 2021, and came in just under 20 bu. per acre ahead of the runner up, his son Craig Hula, also of Charles City. Craig turned in a bin-bending 583.0674 bu. per acre. Arion, Iowa no tiller Connor Garret finished third in the no-till irrigated category, with 387.9393 bu. per acre.
No-till irrigated corn growers set the pace among nine categories used to judge the contest, conducted by the National Corn Growers Association. The top three finishers averaged 524.3917 bu. per acre between them. That compares with an average of 382.3798 for the Conventional Irrigated farm category.
The contest lumps the minimum till, ridge till, strip-till and mulch till categories together. The high mark for the alternative tillers was dryland farmer Kevin Kalb of Dubois, Ind., who turned in a 409.1868 bushel season in a category that specifically includes the corn belt states of Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin, good enough for fourth place overall.
The third highest yield across all categories was also the winner of the Conventional Irrigated category. Don Stall of Charlotte, Mich., recorded a yield of 465.7725 this year.
The average for all no-tillers who scored in the top 3 of any category was 409.6099 bu. per acre, followed by conventional farmers, who averaged 363.7782 bu. per acre. The average of the alternative tillers was 357.4929 bu. per acre.
The average among the top three growers in every category was 376.9603.
This story has been amended to correctly reflect the relationship between David Hula and Craig Hula.